Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

peanut butter brownies

Create a batch of these peanut butter swirl brownies stuffed with peanut butter cups. So , so delicious.
These Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies are a party favorite.

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Prep and Cook

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.

Brownie batter: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 3/4 cup butter (12 Tbsp; 1 and 1/2 sticks) and chopped chocolate. Melt in 30 second increments, whisking after each, until completely smooth. Whisk in the granulated sugar until completely combined, then whisk in the eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. The batter will be light brown and a little dull looking.

Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Fold it all together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Batter will be very thick. Stir in chopped peanut butter cups, reserving a small handful to sprinkle on top. Set aside.

Peanut butter swirl: Melt the remaining butter. Using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the melted butter, remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla, the peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Drop big spoonfuls of most of the chocolate batter randomly into the prepared pan– see photo above for a visual. Top with random spoonfuls of all of the peanut butter batter. Drop spoonfuls of remaining chocolate batter over any bare spots or heavy peanut butter spots. Use a knife, or spoon and swirl the batters together. The brownie batter is thick, so don't think it must be perfect. Decorate with peanut butter cups.

Bake for 35 minutes, then test the brownies with a toothpick. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My brownies take 35-38 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store leftover brownies at room temperature for a week of goodness.

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Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

My wife and I don't get too fancy dinners usually, But we do make sure to carve out some time for new reciepts that go down with the procedure. This year, we asked our son what he'd like to do for dinner and he chose the local, family-friendly pub; it's a favorite of his because they have video games, not because the food is so exceptional (it isn't).

We hadn't been there in a while so I was struck by a new menu item: Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings." Any regular readers of this blog already know I'm sort of obsessed with this cruciferous veggie. Cauliflower is packed with goodies like vitamins C and K, as well as folate (so crucial during before conception and in early pregnancy to prevent birth defects), potassium, and manganese; it's also loaded with fiber, promoting digestive health plus satiety. Plus, cauliflower is an incredibly flexible ingredient, so it works as a fabulous low-carb, low-calorie substitute for rice, as an addition to pasta, or even as a faux buffalo cauliflower smpopcorn!

The "wings" at the pub were yummy, but deep-fried and heavy. I knew I had to make my own at home. I did a quick search and found this version from Peta; it seemed like a great place to start. With a few little changes, it turned out fantastic and truly satisfied that buffalo sauce craving I sometimes get. Hey, I ain't too proud to admit that!

serves 2-4
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour*
1 tsp. ground, dried garlic (or garlic powder)
small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's)
2T melted butter or coconut oil

*Choose gluten-free baking mix if needed as, you will know which brand and type of flour substitute is probably the ideal flour for your dish.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
The mix I used includes almond flour, so that's what those brown specks are.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, flour and dried garlic. Dip each floret into the batter, letting the excess drip off. Place the florets on a large, parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the hot sauce and melted butter together in a small bowl. (I increased the amount of butter from the original recipe because I wanted the bites to be a bit crispier.) Once the cauliflower is baked, brush the sauce on both sides of the florets, making sure they are entirely coated. Put cauliflower back in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the florets are a bit browned and slightly crunchy.
These are spicy, kids! Make sure you serve them with some celery sticks and Ranch Dressing.

The last step in this recipe: Enjoy!